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Leo Kupper / Anna Maria Kieffer — Ways of the Voice
(Pogus Productions P21018-2, 1999, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2001-07-01

Ways of the Voice Cover art

Leo Kupper is a Belgian musicologist and vocal theorist and with Ways of the Voice he furthers his 35-year study of the sonic capabilities of the human voice. His partner for this collection is Brazilian singer Anna Maria Kieffer, who has spent most of her career exploring the works of modern composers such as John Cage as well as South American composers. On this disc, Kupper has recorded Kieffer in a number of ways, sometimes randomly vocalizing and also imitating the sounds of creatures of the Brazilian rainforest. On “Rezas Populares do Brazil,” Brazilian hymn is the context, with two voices being recorded, synthesized, and then mixed back together in a variety of ways. At times the voices sound like a harmonica, at others like a moaning wind. On “Anamak” and “Annazone,” Kieffer’s voice is used to sound like a forest of tropical birds or the Amazonian rain forest, parts of which sound interestingly like Sammi singers from Scandinavia. Finally, there is “Amkea,” where Kieffer’s mezzo-soprano is recorded four times and then mixed together. There is no actual song, just random vocalizations for 20 minutes. If you’re wondering if it all begins to drag on a bit, all I can say is it did for me. I got my fill after the first seven or eight minutes, though I’d say that’s a minor complaint. The overall results are fascinating. I’d highly recommend Ways of the Voice for those interested in the unexplored possibilities of the human voice.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 22, 1999 releases

Related artist(s): Leo Küpper

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